The Administrative Tribunal has restored the rights of joneiros/shareholders to receive jonos of communidades and directed the Administrator of Communidades (South) to disburse the dividends.
However, the Administrator adopting a defiant attitude has announced that an appeal against the judgement will be filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa.
Members of Communidades have welcomed the judgement that has ruled that payment of jono has nothing to with the payment or nonpayment of derrama by the communidade.
The Administrative Tribunal in its order has observed that the Code of Communidades does not provide for stopping payment of jonos and in fact termed the Administrator’s action as arm-twisting methods.
The Tribunal has directed the Administrator to fix the dates for payment of jono immediately.
The derrama issue has dominated the functioning of the communidades in South for the last few years with the communidades refusing to pay the derrama on grounds that the finances were mismanaged and proper procedures were not adhered to while recruiting staff or increasing their salaries.
As the government had to bail out the Administrator with a loan of Rs. 1.38 crore to pay the staff salaries, the Administrator hit back by withholding the payment of jono.
Even though the Administrator claimed to have got the nod from the Revenue Minister and his advocate to appeal against the order, the Communidade members are willing to accept the challenge.
They alleged that the accounts of the Administrator’s office have not been audited since 1982 as a result of which crores of rupees paid by the communidades as derrama is not properly accounted for.
Besides, the recruitment of 26 staff for the Administrator’s office is also questioned given the fact that the recruitment was done without advertising the posts. To compound matters, the staff salaries were increased to VI Pay Commission scales without verifying whether the Administrator’s office could afford to pay those salaries.
The Administrator has also been accused of not recovering money owed by government departments like the Office of the South Goa Collector that owes it Rs. 50 lakhs.
Another complaint against the Administrator’s functioning is the total lethargy in acting against complaints of encroachment on communidade land.